Are people looking for genuine, good old fashioned service, professional advice and personal attention again, after spending the last 15 years in a world of ‘service by numbers’ and ‘automation’?
I was recently asked by a previous client of mine if I would catch up with him over lunch. Beside the fact I am never one to say no to good lunch, I was also intrigued, as I didn’t realise he was in ‘real estate mode’ again, because when we last spoke, I had only just sold my previous company, and was in the middle of setting up this current business. Due to my transitional status, I was unable to act on his behalf, as my commitments at the time would have prevented me from providing him with the full level of service and attention that I only ever give to my clients. So I sadly told him that on that particular occasion it may be better suited if he chose to use another agent, who would have the time available, that he would require in order to achieve a successful and happy transaction. At the time, he thanked me for my honesty, and followed through with this advice, as his need was very pressing financially at that time.
So when I got the call from him 10 months later to catch up, I was both very pleased, and also a little intrigued as to why? After pleasantries were exchanged, we sat down and he said, “Andrew, I cannot believe just how bad the experience was in selling that investment property I spoke to you about last year. At one point, I actually found myself driving up to the agency where the agent I had chosen was working, just to see if she was still employed by them and if it was actually legitimate. Throughout the entire process, I never received an unsolicited a call from her. I never received any type of unsolicited email or text, and I had no idea what was going on with the sale, or the tenancy that was in place, or anything to do with the market or potential buyers, unless I actually called her, and even then, she would never answer her phone, and the emails I would receive as a reply looked unbranded and unprofessional. I just didn’t realise that there are actually agents out there who acted like this. When you said you couldn’t help me, I thought I would go with a large well known agency brand, who has multiple office across Perth, as I thought this would ensure I got the service I knew I would have got from you. It was a huge mistake, and I ended up with a terrible price. I know the market is tough, but I can’t help but think the agents inability to perform professionally also ended up costing me big time as well”.
As you could imagine, I was shocked, and I felt terrible that my temporary unavailability had caused one of my clients so much grief. I thanked him for the feedback, that unfortunately haunts our industry on a far too regular basis, and assured him that now 10 months on, my current company, Prestige Property Perth is now fully operational, and I am once again able to provide him with my whole hearted attention, but it got me thinking… one of the reasons I chose to sell my previous company, and set up a smaller boutique style agency, was because I believe it is what our clients want and very much need in this market.
We all need help right now. We need actual hands on professional help to guide us a through a tougher time than we have seen over the past couple of decades. Many of us have taken the last 15 years for granted. Everyone these days it seems are an ‘expert’ or ‘miracle worker’ when it comes to making money, and in particular when it comes to real estate. So many people get their real estate certificate and then proceed to offer a level of service and advice that only hurts their clientele. Uneducated, unknowledgeable and inexperienced advice and direction. Quite often offered cheaper, in order to win their share of the business as their ‘point of difference’. A perceived saving from a novice that ultimately becomes far more costly than that delivered by a true professional. Cost of service aside, the pain and frustration that comes with poor levels of care and service also have a price that is not as easily measured. The stress involved in selling a home is already amplified above the normality of day to day life, so any additional stress placed within the family structure is certainly unwarranted and unwelcome at the time!
Larger agencies mean well with their perceived larger catchment, but in the day of the internet, this perception is false, as anyone can reach anyone at a moment’s notice across the globe these days, no matter your name and perceived size. The issue large agencies face is that they cannot truly train and over see the individual performance of each of their staff members. They don’t know what each of them are doing and what short cuts they are taking. They do not truly know how their company is being represented. This of course reflects on the lottery style, hit and miss, service that you will receive from them. They are a turn over business. They need a higher amount of sales in order to pay the higher costs they have to keep the doors open. The staff are trained to turn your property over as quick as possible, and to take whatever short cut they can, in order to move onto the next money making opportunity.
Some more recent players in the real estate industry, such as Purple Bricks, were another thing again. Their ‘point of difference’ was to offer a ‘cheaper’ alternative to the commission earning agent, but they didn’t offer a commission style sale service, where commission in the true sense is only earned and paid, once a successful sale, that suited the sellers needs, was both achieved and successfully settled. Their marketing and sale fees were both payable, no matter whether the seller successfully sold their property, or not. The marketing cost, along with their full fee, had to be paid either upon settlement, or after the property had been on the market for six months, or if the property was withdrawn from the market. So what happened when the seller had a change in your life’s circumstances, and had to remove their property from the market, or it simply didn’t sell? Simple, they lost all that money, and they didn’t get it back. So why take that risk? Life changes sometimes and you don’t plan, or expect it too. In addition to this, once the sale contract had been achieved, the sellers were pretty much left to their own devices to see the property through to settlement. A traditional and true commission based sales agent, will not only take the risk that the property might not sell, or is removed from the market, plus they will see you all the way through to the safety of settlement, every step of the way. Purple Bricks recent announcement to withdraw their company from the Australian market, only goes to show how Australian’s wanted more than the half baked selling technique they were offering.
Let’s face it, we all need good, honest, professional and trustworthy advice in our lives. We relied on it from our elders or role models when we were growing up, we relied on it when we studied and learnt our careers, and we need it each and every day in all of the professional services that we employ, such as Doctors, Dentists, Builders and Lawyers to name just a few. So when you are dealing with your single largest investment, your property, I implore you to do likewise! You wouldn’t have a novice, who doesn’t truly care perform a filling on one of your teeth, and I am guessing you wouldn’t consider doing it yourself?
It’s time to turn back the clocks a little in order to once again receive good and GENUINE customer care and attention. In the 10 months we have been open as Prestige Property Perth, we are seeing this need more than ever. Let’s face it, the real estate market is tough! Getting a good result calls for a professional right now. I have set this company up to suit these needs. We offer a capped size business model, where we only look after a smaller set number of rental properties and sales, from a set number of clientele. We are offering an increased level of customer care and service, and our clients are appreciating it. In the past 4 weeks, we have added 22 new landlords to our management list. Why? Because as we state on our website, in our radio advertisements, and on our Facebook posts, we are a specialising boutique real estate agency, that has a small team, with a large amount of hands on professional experience and knowledge, that offers a full and trusted customer service experience. This is simply due to the fact we genuinely care about you, and your real estate needs.
So in summary, are people looking for genuine, good old fashioned service, professional advice and personal attention again? I say categorically YES! Just like my client I mentioned earlier, who had requested to meet up for lunch. It turns out he actually has another property that he wishes to sell, and he wants me to handle it for him. Why? Because this time he wants a true professional service, that will help him remove the stress in his and deliver a successful result, and not just a bunch of unfulfilled promises.
Thanks for reading, and if you are heading into real estate mode soon, make sure you contact me, to ensure you are receiving the level of service and care that you deserve, from at least one company in your modern day life.
Yours in Real Estate
Licensed Real Estate Agent
0417 999 837